• Comprehensive Ophthalmology, Retina/Vitreous

    Review of: Educational impact of podcasts in the retina community

    Venincasa M, Kloosterboer A, Zukerman R, et al. Ophthalmology Retina, in press

    This survey study sought to investigate the perceived educational impact of podcasts and other materials on the general retina community.

    Study design

    A 25-item survey was sent to retinal society members to assess demographics and educational preferences. Responses were combined with those from a survey on the website for the podcast Straight from the Cutter’s Mouth: A Retina Podcast which contained 4 additional questions related to the podcast.


    Responses were received from 374 unique members of the American Society of Retina Specialists, Macula Society and/or Retina Society. Ninety-one members (41%) listened to at least 1 medical podcast on a weekly basis. When rating the importance of various educational media, the highest importance was placed on attendance at national conferences with respect to overall clinical competence, use in clinic and use in the operating room. Approximately 9% of respondents found podcasts to be the most useful educational media.


    As with any survey study, the main weakness stems from potential for bias. Approximately half of invited society members opened the email invitation and only 15% submitted a response. Respondents to the survey on the podcast website might be biased towards the podcast medium.

    Clinical significance

    In this cross-sectional survey, traditional educational media such as conferences and CME lectures remain the most important modality for clinical learning. However, medical podcasts are utilized by 41% of the surveyed population and their influence is likely to grow with time.